Welding is a highly risky procedure! But there is no lie when they say that the welding industry is booming. Therefore, no matter if you are a newbie or a professional, it is crucial not to ignore the importance of safety gear. Proper welding protective gear is essential to safeguard the welder from health and safety hazards. Exposure to metal fumes, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, welding sparks, splatters, molten metal, and other dangers can cause severe injuries and permanent damage to the human body. In this hard job of welding, I consider the welding helmet very important to avoid being directly intact with the flames that can surely help the welder to save his eyes on first priority.
What is even more important is to be fully aware of the different types of protective gear options and how to utilize them to ensure optimum protection properly.
In this post, we will share the necessary details about the two main types of welding helmets and how to use a welding helmet. So, keep reading to discover how you correctly safeguard yourself safe during welding procedures!
Passive vs. Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets
You will find two primary kinds of helmets, passive welding helmets, and auto-darkening helmets.
Passive welding helmets have functioned manually; thus, you have to change their lenses manually. On the other hand, the auto-darkening helmets are computerized to auto-lighten and darken depending on the light emitted during the welding process.
Both helmet types are highly effective in safeguarding you from welding safety hazards. No matter which kind of helmet you have, it is essential to test if it is working correctly or not.
6 Steps for Properly Checking Your Welding Helmet:
Following are the top 6 steps that will help you test and ensure that your welding helmet is in perfect working condition:
- ISEA Standard
- Good fit
- Lens selection and security
- Sun test
- Visibility test
- Eye fatigue
The current standard your welding helmet should adhere to is ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015. It is vital to invest in a helmet that passes the International Safety Equipment Association standards so that you are 100% sure that your helmet is safe and effective.
Welding helmets that do not comply with the code might be cheaper. However, they can be severely dangerous to your eyesight and health.
You need to make sure that your welding helmet fits perfectly! A welding helmet that is too tight or too loose can impact your vision and severely compromise your safety.
If the helmet is too loose, you might expose part of your neck and lose a clear vision through the lens. Whereas a tight-fitting helmet is highly uncomfortable to wear for long welding sessions, and it can give you a head and shoulder ache every time you wear it for long sessions. Therefore, always opt for a snug fit and never compromise on an ill-fitting welding helmet.
Helmet Lens Security
The type of lens your helmet has will be determined by the kind of welding you do.
The most common range of lenses is between #9, which is suitable for lower amperage to a #13 designed for high amperage application.
Your helmet can also have auto-darkening capabilities that make it more suitable for both high and low amperage welding. It eliminates the need for switching lenses.
To ensure that you are getting optimal protection from your passive helmet, make sure that the helmet’s lens is set into place correctly.
The emissions from welding can cause severe damage to your eyes.
Testing The Lens
One of the most accessible tests to check if your helmet lens, both auto-darkening and passive, is the sun test in which you look at the sun outside.
Most experts agree that the sun test is better for auto-darkening helmets because it enables you to see how quickly the lens darkens as the intensity of light increases.
The right lens will give you optimal visibility as well as the right amount of protection. If the lens rating is too weak, it will allow too much light to pass through, which will damage your eyes.
On the other hand, if a lens is too dark, it will affect your welding accuracy. Make sure your lens matches the type of welding you are doing.
If you are facing the issue of eye fatigue after welding, then this is a sign that your helmet isn’t providing the right amount of protection, which is causing your eyes to tire.
Eye fatigue symptoms can include eye ache, distorted vision, blurry vision, and/or double vision and headache. We advise that you adjust lenses immediately if you are experiencing these issues.
The leading cause of eye fatigue from welding is the excess levels of UV RAYS passing through the lens and into your eyes.
For an added layer of protection, some welders also prefer to wear see-through protective glasses and the protective helmet, which doesn’t compromise vision.
How To Use A Welding Helmet Properly?
A welding helmet is amongst the most vital pieces of equipment used during welding. If you have an auto-darkening welding helmet, it must be set correctly to function correctly and provide the needed protection levels. We suggest that you take out the time to learn the settings and test them before you start welding to avoid risking exposure to dangerous UV rays.
The purpose of the best welding helmet is to protect your face, neck, and eyes from exposure to intense light, ultraviolet rays, and other health hazards, which can be extremely dangerous and can harm your vision.
- Ensure that the lens is the right rating for the type of welding you are going to do and ensure that it is appropriately set, and it complies with safety standards.
- You don’t want a helmet that is too loose or too restrictive. The right side of the helmet will click into place and have a downward positioning. Otherwise, it might not be the correct fit or faulty.
- Ensure that the functionality controls are placed according to your comfort and specific requirements (that may be inside or outside the helmet).
- Ensure that the light sensitivity sensors appropriately identify and readjust the shades based on the lighting, your helmet isn’t serving its purpose. A faulty light sensitivity sensor can cause severe or permanent damage to the eyes.
- Delay controls allow you to determine the duration that the lens will remain dark after the arc stops. So, make sure that you adjust the delay control to your specific requirements.
- Always invest in a dual arc sensor helmet, especially if you are a professional welder. Ensure that both the arc sensors are in proper working condition.
- Different types of helmets are powered by various power sources, including lithium-batteries, changeable, rechargeable, and solar-powered batteries. So, always fully charge your helmet’s battery before starting a welding session.